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Academics

Fields of Study: Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Engineering

Take courses in a wide range of disciplines at the top-ranked University of Hong Kong (HKU). With the exception of courses in Chinese language and literature, HKU courses are taught in English. A full curriculum of HKU coursework is taught in English in the arts, humanities, business, engineering, sciences, and social sciences.

Unique study opportunities

  • Explore consumer behavior in Asia, business law, leadership, or how to become an entrepreneur.
  • Learn how to design a mobile app or get an introduction to artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Analyze liberalism, China’s role in international politics, and globalization.

Language

Language of Instruction: English

Chinese Language Study: Optional

Although most courses are taught in English, Cantonese is the primary language of Hong Kong. You will encounter Cantonese in dormitories, on the street, and in tutorials, labs, and studios. Some basic Cantonese will help you interact both in classes and in everyday activities.

If you do not speak any Cantonese, student alumni recommend the Cantonese as a Foreign Language class (CHIN9511) offered through the Chinese Language Center.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Four to six courses with a total of 20-30 quarter/13.3-20 semester UC units. We recommend five courses per semester (25 quarter/16.7 semester UC units).
  • If you take 4 courses, you make take one course on the pass/no pass grading option.
  • If you take 5 or 6 courses, you may take two courses on the pass/no pass grading option.

Current Program Courses

After arrival, you will complete course registration during the add/drop period. Instructors usually distribute syllabi and reading lists at the beginning of the course.

Most business, economics, engineering, and science courses have prerequisites and require prior experience in the field. If you are advanced in one of these majors, you are more likely to qualify for the courses. Humanities and other social science courses have less rigorous prerequisites.

In addition to accessing classes in a full range of disciplines, HKU has many courses with research or field study components. The departments may list these as directed studies, dissertation, field courses, or projects. This kind of project is set up with instructors after arrival during the add/drop period for classes.

Catalogs and resources

Academic culture

UCEAP alumni have noted that everything from course registration to final exams is different at the University of Hong Kong. To help you adapt to these changes, HKU has created Adjustment Tips for Non-local Students.

Throughout the program you’ll be learning alongside local students. Students who succeed are also able to study independently, do the background reading, and incorporate class work in written papers. Local teaching style emphasizes memorization, so be prepared to repeat lecture material on written quizzes and exams. It is important to attend class regularly, take all course exams, and submit written work as required by each instructor.

Some courses involve fieldwork, practical experience, or lab work. Group projects are common.

Tip: Lecturers may have heavy accents. Before you finalize enrollment, make sure you can understand the main lecturer in each course.

Grades

You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Grading at Hong Kong institutions reflects rigorous academic standards. Grading curves are rare. Instructors asses academic progress based on fieldwork, lab assignments, individual and group projects, quizzes, exams, and any other criteria relevant to the course. They may also consider class attendance and participation. Class participation may be especially important in seminars and in courses that have tutorial sessions. Most exams are in short answer or essay format.

Language course grades are usually based on periodic quizzes and tests, homework assignments, class performance, and a final oral and written exam. These courses are small and require attendance in every class unless you receive permission to be absent. Absences affect both language progress and the final grade for the course.

The University of Hong Kong emails students unofficial grades about one month before grades go out.

Fall grades are usually available in mid-March.

Spring grades are usually available from late July through early September.

Students in the year program will receive fall grades with spring grades.